Sunday, June 4 2023

Bible Reading for: November 18

Lamentations 1–2

Do you care about the destruction coming for the Lost?  Do you care enough to show sincere compassion, to tell them about Jesus?  Well, do you?

Okay now, don’t blink!  We will do Lamentations today and part of tomorrow.  That’s it.  If you think that is fast, however, just wait until we get to some of the books toward the end of the New Testament!

Do you wonder whose lamentations we are reading?  They are Jeremiah’s.  That is why Lamentations is placed after Jeremiah in our Bible.  Josiah was king when Jeremiah began his ministry. They were both young men, and they were friends. Josiah was one of those few kings who tried, in his own imperfect way, to lead Judah back to God. His “revival” touched a lot of hearts, but while it spread wide, it didn’t spread deep. It turned out to be a blip in the life of the nation. Eventually, Josiah died in an ill-advised battle at Megiddo. This left Jeremiah to continue his ministry under four subsequent reprobate kings – Jehoahz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. Zedekiah would be the last king of Judah.

God gave Jeremiah a message to deliver that was hard to hear. It was a message of coming destruction. The message was intended to draw the people back to right relationship with God, but the people refused to accept it; they continued in their downward spiral away from God and into destruction. Having exhausted himself in an effort to call Judah to repentance, and having suffered greatly for doing so, Jeremiah’s reward was to watch the destruction of the nation and people he loved. His heart was broken as he watched it burn.

The five chapters of Lamentations are each a funeral eulogy from the heart of a grief-stricken man. We get an image of a man standing over the coffin of his loved ones, filled with sorrow, hot tears streaming down his face. In his “Thru the Bible” commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee says Lamentations is “a paean of pain, a poem of pity, a proverb of pathos. It is a hymn of heartbreak, a psalm of sadness, a symphony of sorrow, and a story of sifting. Lamentations is the wailing wall of the Bible.” I think Dr. McGee had a bit of the poet in him.

Jeremiah was not a “holier-than-thou”, “fire and brimstone” kind of preacher. His message was harsh, but his heart was tender. I don’t think a hard-hearted man can deliver a harsh message effectively. It is much easier to tune out an angry, self-righteous voice than to tune out a voice filled with sincere love and deep anguish. There was a renowned Shakespearean actor of the 1800s named David Garrick who shared a story of a day he came across a man preaching in the streets of London. The preacher he came upon was George Whitefield and this is what Garrick said about the incident.

“I stood on the outside of the crowd, but I found myself imperceptibly working myself in, until I stood right under that man, and there came down from his breast hot tears.” An old woman stood there and said to Whitefield, “Sir, I have followed you since you preached this morning at seven o’clock and I have heard you preach five times in the streets of this city, and five times I have been wet with your tears. Why do you weep?” Garrick said “I listened to George Whitefield, and as I listened to him I saw his passion and his earnestness. I knew that he meant that without Christ men would die. As I listened to him, he came to the place where he could say nothing more. He reached up those mighty arms, his voice seemed almost like a thunderstorm as he said one final word: ‘Oh!'”

People responded to the call of salvation when Whitefield preached because they could see he sincerely believed they were doomed if they didn’t and he was broken-hearted at the thought. America, a once fiercely Christian nation, is today a pagan nation. People are coming to salvation less and less as church attendance plummets. I get a sense from some Christians that they are saved and that’s all that matters. I get a sense from some of them that the Lost deserve what’s coming. I do not get a sense that we are broken-hearted about the future of the Lost.

We go to church, we read our bibles, we go to work, we raise our kids, we take care of our homes, but we do not share the Gospel. It seems we do not have sincere compassion for the Lost. I think this toxic American culture has affected us more than we have affected it. Our culture preaches a life of self-absorption, that there is no greater goal than self-fulfillment. Far too many of us Christians get distracted by the cares of this world, we keep our emotions in check, and refuse to really get involved in sharing the Gospel in any meaningful way. By our actions, we show that we do not love the Lost enough to cry over them, let alone share the Gospel with them. If we do not sincerely care, why would they listen to us even if we did share the Gospel?

I have one question for you; “Do you care?”  Do you care about the destruction coming for the Lost?  Do you care enough to show sincere compassion?  Do you care enough to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Christ?  Well, do you?

Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Reading Plans
Bible Order: Acts 14-15
Chronological Order: Acts 4-6
New Testament Only: Hebrews 10:1–18


Sins Of The Father


Examine Your Ways

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